Here are a few quick pointers to start PvP-ing and hunting on Rust. This is not a basic survival guide. Rather a few good ways to start your painful adventure without knowledge of the more advanced weaponry.
The Spear Edit
A straightforward, early game option, requiring 300 units of a single resource, Wood, the Wooden Spear is a better-than-nothing equalizer against dangerous wildlife, except for bears, which should be avoided at this stage. A spear thrown at an unaware boar or wolf may shoo it away from you; notwithstanding, craft burlap clothes to mitigate damage from beasts.
Carrying 3 spears prepares a player to hunt effectively, albeit at a hefty cost - 900 Wood. Close in the most you can to your prey, throw it, then chase it throwing the remaining spears at it. It may be the case that a fourth hit be required; in that case, eventually you can catch up your target (as stamina is not an issue in Rust), reach for a stuck spear, and finish it. Hunting with only one spear is possible, but you'll have to fetch it from the prey's body at every turn, and not lose sight of the fleeting beast.
The melee thrust rate is morose. Although reach is good, much practice is advisable, especially against players. Aim for the head.
The range on the thrown Spear is quite short. Targets beyond the 5 meter mark require aiming high, and good leading, as the Spear will travel slow at such distance. Against players, have a follow-up strike after throwing out a spear: the missed spear may be thrown back or used by the foe.
The Bow Edit
The Bow is as simple as it is a dependable weapon. The 50 cloth required may be either very easy to find or very frustrating, depending on the biome you're located. You'll also need to mine stone to be able to fire, 10 units per arrow. Fulfilling these, you'll have at your hands the most basic wildlife repellent: an arrow on an unaware boar or wolf will shoo it away. Though, keep your ears ever vigilant for the heavy stomping of the bear; one goes down with at least 7 arrows, an impossible feat if the beast is already leaping at you.
An excellent tool for hunting, and discrete too, as it is silent. With the bow you can inflict damage to your prey at range, not having to close in at it, like with the spear. Depending on your location, an open field for example, bringing down a prey will be an easy task: close in as best you can without startling it, hit the first arrow, the target will run for a bit, slowing down ahead, in which the process repeats until dead. This is more troublesome if dealing with horses, for they can increase the gap very rapidly. Hunting at night can be frustrating, as the prey may run from sight into the cover of darkness, especially if in a forest.
Training your accuracy is important. Start with prey at 10 feet, then go up by 10 feet every time to hit; the boar is a good target, with its poor running capacity. After you've mastered at the very least 50-70 feet with the bow, it's time to move on. Start hitting faster and smaller targets, then finally, move onto hostile creatures. It takes two hits to down a wolf. It can run 10 feet before you can fire an arrow. Therefore, you should give yourself at least 40 feet of room between you and a wolf. After a certain range, shots will be harder to hit, as the sway of the pulled arrow will be much more noticeable. Also, try to hit your prey as many times as you can before sprinting after it; this will hone the horizontal and vertical adjustment of your aim with the bow.
Also, the bow is a silent weapon, making all the difference if you don't want to be spotted or noticed by others. Take advantage of this in the pitchblack darkness of the night.
The Pipe Shotgun Edit
The pipe is not effective on its own, but here's a strategy that makes the pipe actually quite effective.
Make at least three of them. The pipe has a ridiculous reload time. So if you make three, and put them in your hot bar. You can get three shots in before needing to reload, and three shots is enough to take down someone in Kevlar at point blank range.
The pipe only needs one shot for a pesky wolf, and two shots for a bear. making this a great emergency weapon if you're in a hurry.
Now obviously any gun will easily overpower even 100 pipes. So this method is only useful if you do not have the resources to craft a gun.
This is also a very excellent and super cheap way to hunt rad-animals.
And remember, the pipe, like any other ranged weapon aside from the bow, gives off a loud bang. So be prepared to fight or run from any players that might hear you. Because they will hear you.
Also, the pipe shotgun's range nearly makes it a melee weapon, so don't go sniping people with it, you will fail, and if they have a ranged weapon, you will also die.
The Revolver Edit
The revolver is about as useful as the pipe. as it has much more range, but is very weak and uses 9mm ammo, which can be tricky to craft if you need metal fragments for something else. I would recommend using the revolver only against things you need range for, like attempting to PvP, but this gun only comes effective in PvP if you shoot them and severely damage them before they have time to react.
The Hatchet Edit
The hatchet is useful in Pvp only against another melee opponent. the hatchet is also very useful against docile creatures, and I would recommend using the hatchet or bow to hunt docile creatures as they do not make sound past a few feet.
So there you have it, a basic guide with the weapons you are given from the start. I would recommend you use # three's method to hunt rad animals, They will give you the blueprints to create modable weapons. Don't forget to raid buildings or even other people for the ammo you need for a certain gun.
And remember, this guide is only for starting out. once you find more advanced weaponry and attachments, every tip on this page effectively becomes useless.
Have fun out there, and happy rusting.